With the new year comes new opportunities in recruiting, but identifying those new opportunities may require recruiters to rethink where, how and who they’re recruiting. It’s easiest, and many times smartest, to go after the low hanging fruit in recruiting, meaning the candidates who are actively seeking new employment or who have already expressed interest in your company. But these waters can be shallow or even start to run dry, and when that happens it’s time to look toward passive candidates.


For many companies, a new year doesn’t represent a fresh start because they know that month after month, their talent pool is looking more familiar. Some find that every time a position opens up, it’s like pulling teeth to hire the right person for the job, or they may only experience that struggle in relation to a certain level or category of hiring. Another common obstacle in hiring is the struggle to find an adequate workforce within a specific geographic region. These are all real issues that companies deal with everyday, and they’re all problems that can be fixed by reaching out and recruiting passive candidates. These candidates not only represent an excellent opportunity for recruiters but also may just be the key to recruiting and hiring in 2016.


Passive candidates are the new active candidates

Today’s workforce is far different from the workforce we dealt with even a decade ago. The truth is that loyalty doesn’t mean an employee will be with their employer for 30 years, but instead means they’re committed to doing a great job as long as they’re there, whether that be two years or 10 years. For employers, this means that the majority of today’s workforce is open to new employment opportunities even if they’re not actively seeking employment. The term “passive candidate” no longer signifies a candidate that has no intention of ever leaving their current job. It’s simply a term for candidates that you seek out instead of your company being found by them. They hold just as much potential as active candidates, though they do require a different approach.


Expanded talent pool

When you look to your talent pool and find a limited source of candidates, it can be frustrating and limiting. The best way to instantly expand your talent pool is by going after passive candidates. These candidates may posses exactly what you’re looking for, and the fact that they’re satisfied with their current situation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after them. Pursuing passive candidates will give you greater reach, allow you to source the exact skills you need for a position and provide a larger number of candidates to start with than your current talent pool can. Recruiters have to quit limiting themselves to active candidates in 2016 because without passive candidates, talent pools will grow stagnant and never expand to meet the needs of growing organizations.


Tailoring your approach

The very nature of recruiting passive candidates means that your approach will have to be tailored, but at the end of the day, recruiting is recruiting and people are people. The tactics may change, but people still have the same needs and desires. The best way to get passive candidates to seriously consider making a switch is to develop relationships through personal interaction and by being active in your talent network. It takes that personal relationship to create a level of familiarity and connection to get them thinking a new opportunity could be a good decision.


Passive candidates truly are the key to recruiting in 2016, and you can read all about how to reach them in Talent Objects’ new passive candidate e-book, Technology, Creativity and Strategy: The keys to Recruiting Passive Candidates. Download it and be prepared to take on the task of passive candidate recruiting for your organization this year.